Report on the Loss of H.M.S. Victoria
Report by the Assistant Controller and Director of Naval Construction, Based Upon Minutes of Proceedings of the Court Martial Appointed to Inquire into the Loss of Her Majesty's Ship "Victoria" by William H. White, Assistant Controller of the Navy and Director of Naval Construction. The report was published on 15 September, 1893, in response to the public outcry surrounding the loss of the ironclad battleship H.M.S. Victoria.
Report (Sans Diagrams)
IT has been thought desirable by their Lordships that the Minutes of Evidence given before the Court Martial on the logs of the Victoria should be carefully gone through, in order that all important statements made by witnesses on matters relating to the collision between the Camperdown and Victoria, and the circumstances attending the subsequent sinking of the Victoria, should be summarised and classified. Having been directed to undertake this work, I now submit the following remark.
The Minutes of Evidence being voluminous, and the evidence bearing on the matters above mentioned being scattered over the whole of the Minutes, it appeared necessary to bring together in a tabular form and under various heads a summary of the statements made by various witnesses, giving the substance of each statement, as well as references to the original Minutes of Evidence. This has been done in the "Tabular Summary" annexed hereto, which is a digest of the evidence under the various headings therein contained. The references to the original Minutes will facilitate further investigation by any one desiring to form an independent opinion respecting the relative authority of different witnesses where their opinions differ.
As might be expected under the circumstances, witnesses are not in absolute agreement on every point. In many cases the impressions and estimates of individuals differ.
Such differences do not, however, affect the principal circumstances or the order of events from the time that the manœvre began until the moment when the Victoria sank. On all essential matters there is practical agreement.
The investigations of the Court Martial were most searching, and have put on record in a definite form the causes contributing to the loss of the Victoria.
Their Lordships have desired also that I should prepare a Report based upon the enclosed Summary of Evidence, in which the main facts established by the Court Martial should be set out briefly and in order. This has been done in the following pages. For the most part the statements made are supported by unquestioned evidence. Where differences of opinion occur in the evidence, they are indicated: there are in most instances good grounds for reaching a decision, and an attempt is made to decide where the balance of evidence lies. In a few instances the evidence given before the Court Martial has been made the bans of certain calculations, the results of which are stated. Care has been taken to indicate clearly where the evidence is either criticised or supplemented.
From the evidence it is established that before the manœuvre began the ships were proceeding at a speed of 8.8 knots, the two lines being 1,200 yards apart.
When the signal to turn inwards 16 points was hauled down, the helm of the Victoria was put hard to starboard (35 degrees), which corresponded to a tactical diameter of about 600 yards. At the same moment the helm of the Camperdown was put at 23 degrees to port, which corresponded to a tactical diameter estimated at about 800 yards. Had the helm of the Camperdown been put hard to port, the tactical diameter would have been reduced about 20 per cent.
The two ships continued to turn under these conditions, until they had each turned through about 8 points, and were very nearly end-on to one another. Their distance apart at that instant was estimated at 2 or 2½ cables (400 to 600 yards). Both ships must then have acquired practically their full "swing" (or angular velocity) corresponding to the conditions of speed and helm-angle above stated. Apart from change of helm or alteration in speed and direction of the engines, the ships would have continued to turn in practically circular arcs from 8 points onward.
At or near the 8 points position it was recognised in both ships that a collision was imminent, and steps were taken to avoid it if possible. The port engines of the Victoria and starboard engines of the Camperdown were ordered to be reversed practically at the same moment for the purpose of making the ships turn more quickly. These orders were given only about a minute before the collision took place. Assuming that the orders were executed with all possible despatch, these engines could have been working astern only a very short time before the collision, so that tha movements of the ships could have been but little affected thereby. The evidence bears out this conclusion.
In the Victoria the order to reverse the port engines was quickly followed by the order to reverse the starboard engines. The tendency, therefore, during the minute preceding the collision, was to somewhat check her headway. Captain Bourke considers she was moving at about 6 knots at the instant of collision. Staff-Commander Hawkins Smith estimates the speed at not more than 5 knots.
In the Camperdown, according to Admiral Markham's and Captain Johnstone's evidence, it was intended to go full speed astern with the starboard screw; but, probably through some misunderstanding or error in working the telegraphs (not fault in the instruments), only three-quarters' speed astern was shown on the dial in the engine-room: and the starboard engines were so worked up to the instant of collision. Almost simultaneously the order was received in the engine-room to stop the pure engines. The evidence of the engineer officer of the watch, and the chief engine-room artificer proves that the port engines were stopped for about one minute—that is, practically up to the instant of collision. They were then ordered to go three-quarters' speed astern. Admiral Markham stated that he ordered full speed; but the seaman working the telegraph asserted that he received the order three-quarters' speed and acted on it. The engine-room staff, of course, only knew what the dial showed, and obeyed that order. While the misunderstanding is to be regretted, it cannot have sensibly influenced the result, since the interval of time was so short.
Witnesses differ in their estimates of the speed of Camperdown when she struck the Victoria. Lieutenant Barr puts it at 4 to 5 knots; Captain Johnstone at 6 knots; Staff-Commander Hawkins Smith at 5 knots; Admiral Markham considered that the way of the ship had not been much checked.
This point admits of independent verification. The engine-room register of Camperdown shows that up to 8 points (90 degrees) in turning, the engines were running at 54 revolutions, corresponding to a speed on a straight course of 8¾ to 9 knots. In turning, this speed would, of course, be reduced. According to records of turning trials of similar ships at about the speed in question, the speed from 8 to 12 points on an approximately circular path would be about 75 per cent, of the speed on a straight course before the helm was put over. The Camperdown's speed therefore at the moment when the starboard engine was reversed and the port engine stopped, must have been about 6¾ knots. In the brief interval—less than a minute—before the collision, this speed could have been but little lessened. Hence it appears that Captain Johnstone's estimate of 6 knots is fairly accurate, and not in excess.
This is confirmed by the fact that, as the Victoria was using about 25 per cent, greater helm than the Camperdown, her speed on the circular path from 8 to 12 points must have been checked more from that on a straight course than was the case in the Camperdown. Moreover, both the Victoria's engines were reversed before the collision and only one engine in Camperdown. Consequently the Victoria must have been moving more slowly than the Camperdown, and yet her speed as above stated was estimated at 5 to 6 knots.
There is practical agreement that both ships occupied about one minute in turning from 8 to 12 points, in which latter position they were when the collision took place. This estimate of time is confirmed by recorded observations on similar ships made during turning trials; and the fact that they were turning rapidly at the instant of collision had an important influence on the injuries received by both ships. All the witnesses agree that the Camperdown struck the Victoria nearly at right angles. The weight ot evidence is in favour of the view that the keel-line of Camperdown was about l0 degrees abaft the beam of the Victoria, the keel-lines then being at an angle of about 80 degrees. This is confirmed by an examination of the paths actually traversed under similar circumstances by similar ships when turning from 8 to 12 points.
The blow was delivered on the starboard side of the Victoria, about 65ft. abaft the stem-head, and just before important transverse bulkheads which extended from the keel to the upper deck. These bulkheads are lettered E. and F. where shown on Plates III. to X. [Not reproduced.]
With the estimated apeed of 6 knots the "energy" of the blow delivered by the Camperdown must have been about 17,000 to 18,000 foot-tons. This is about the muzzle energy of a 12 in. 45 ton B.L.R. gun, the estimated perforation of its projectile being about 22½ ins. of wrought-iron armour.
Observers agree that this terrific blow delivered on the bow of the Victoria, at a time when she was rapidly turning, caused the fore-end of that vessel to move about 60 or 70 ft. to port. This bodily movement of the Victoria absorbed some of the energy of impact, and tended to lessen the shook and injury done to the structure, even with this reduction the shock must have been very great. It caused a tremor throughout the whole length of the vessel, and the noise of the collision was heard on board other vessels at some distance from the Victoria.
The upper decks of the two ships were nearly at the same height above water. Before the Camperdown was "brought up"—which must have been done chiefly by the strong under-water protective deck of the Victoria—her stem and ram-bow penetrated some distance into the side of the Victoria.
Observers, for the most part, saw only the damage done to the upper deck of the Victoria. Several of the witnesses spoke of that deck having been broken and injured for a distance of 8 to 11 ft. from the side. Accepting this estimate of the extent to which injury or disturbance was carried, it obviously does not follow that the upper portion of the stem of the Camperdown actually penetrated so far. The best evidence on this point is to be found in the damage done to the bows of the Camperdown. Drawings and photographs have been received showing the nature and extent of that damage. Using this data in association with the evidence given respecting the movements of the ships while they were locked together, it is possible to decide with some certainty how far the Camperdown's stem entered the Victoria. On this basis the actual penetration (normal to the side) of the upper portion of the stem is shown to have been 5½ to 6 ft. (See Plate IX.) [Not reproduced.] When the ships collided, as explained above, they were both turning rapidly. Consequently after the bow of the Camperdown was engaged in the side of the Victoria, the sterns swung together to some extent. This fact was noted by several witnesses. Those most competent to form an opinion (particularly Lieutenant Barr of the Camperdown) state that the movement involved a swinging of the Camperdown relatively to the Victoria through an arc of about 20 degrees. It is stated further that the two ships were locked together for about a minute, before the Camperdown backed astern and cleared—which she did at an angle of about 30 degrees abaft the beam of the Victoria. This swinging together of the two ships exaggerated the injuries done to both. For the Camperdown it probably meant the fracture of the stem-forging; and it certainly involved very serious damage to the thin side plating on the port bow, which plating was broken through by contact with the side and decks of the Victoria abaft the breach made by the first impact. On the starboard bow of the Camperdown, where the swinging was practically a freeing movement, the damage done was relatively inconsiderable.
The damage to the port bow of Camperdown was chiefly caused by contact with the protective deck of the Victoria. The main part of the bow plating on both sides of the Camperdown, both above and below water, retained its general form. In swinging, therefore, the bow of Camperdown must have crushed in the adjacent plating and structure of the Victoria, and produced a serious enlargement of the breach caused by the first blow.
Moreover, it must have destroyed the water-tight connection to the side plating of the important transverse bulkheads E. and F., situated just abaft the place of collision. Those bulkheads consequently ceased to be watertight partitions for several feet from the starboard side of the ship.
A careful examination, based upon the known injuries to the plating on the Camperdown port bow, and the angle abaft the Victoria's beam to which the Camperdown swung while she was locked, gives what must be a very close approximation to the extreme penetration into the side of Victoria effected by the stem of Camperdown. The result of this examination is shown on Plates IV. to X., [Not reproduced.] and indicates as above stated a penetration of about 5½ to 6 ft. for the vertical portion of the stem. The extreme point or "spur" of the ram bow projects about 7 ft. before the upright portion; and this spur pierced the thin plating below the protective deck, as it was designed to do. Notwithstanding the form of the athwartship section of the Victoria at the place of collision, the spur of the Camperdown was driven about 9 ft. within the side plating, at a depth of about 12 ft. below water. (See Plate IX.)
These results are of interest chiefly as a check upon the estimates of eye-witnesses, as to the extent to which the Camperdown's bow penetrated. It is important to notice, however, that even a considerably less penetration than that which has been shown to have occurred would have produced the same ultimate results by flooding the compartments to which water flowing through the breach could find access under the circumstances of the collision.
The ram-bow of the Camperdown would have ripped open the thin bottom plating of the Victoria below the proctective deck even if the vertical portion of her stem had not penetrated sensibly. Moreover, the Victoria was moving directly across the bows of the Camperdown at a speed of 5 to 6 knots. Apart from any sensible penetration of the Victoria's side, therefore, it was inevitable that, if this forward movement of Victoria relative to the Camperdown had taken place, her bottom must have been torn open for some distance abaft the first breach, during the time the vessels were in contact. This tearing action actually happened in the collision between the Großer Kürfürst and König Wilhelm, when the former ship quickened her speed in the endeavour to clear the latter by crossing her bows.
As a matter of fact the Camperdown's bow was virtually locked in the protective deck of the Victoria during the time the vessels were engaged together. The relative forward movement of Victoria across the Camperdown's bow was thus practically destroyed, and consequently the tearing action of the spur on the bottom plating was lessened, although the swinging movement above described necessarily involved an enlargement of the breach.
It is possible, following the method above described, to closely approximate to the area and form of the breach made in the side of the Victoria by the collision and subsequent swinging together of the ships. The result is shown on the diagrams. [Not reproduced.]
The breach must have extended vertically from the upper deck to a point about 28 ft. below that deck, and 18 ft. below the water-line at which Victoria floated before collision.
The width of the breach varied. At the upper deck it was about 12 ft.; at the original water-line about 11 ft.; then it gradually diminished in general breadth towards the lower termination. The area of the breach below the original water line must have been 100 to 110 square feet.
The bow of the Camperdown filled this breach to a large extent during the minute the ships were locked together. When the Camperdown went astern and cleared, the full area of the breach was left open to the entry of water. The initial rate of inflow of water through an unobstructed aperture of this size would be over 3,000 tons per minute. The actual rate of inflow was governed by many circumstances. Compartments which were directly breached by the blow and put in free communication with the sea must have filled very quickly. The compartments, in the aggregate, required only about 600 tons to fill them, so that they were probably flooded to a serious extent before the Camperdown cleared.
The whole arrangements of the water-tight subdivisions forward are indicated on Plates III. to IX. It will be seen that the spaces below the main deck were minutely subdivided by transverse bulkheads, horizontal decks and platforms, and a few longitudinal bulkheads. The governing idea, as in all warships, was to turn each compartment necessary for stowage into a separate water tight enclosure, when doors, scuttles, &c., were closed and secured. The evidence establishes the fact that a number of these doors, &c., were open at the instant of collision, and could not be subsequently closed. Further, the shock of collision no doubt destroyed the absolute watertightness of some of the partitions adjacent to the place where the blow was struck, so allowing water to pass through interstices.
Water entering through the breach could not pass away into compartments adjacent to those first put directly into communication with the sea, at anything approaching the rate of inflow appropriate to the unobstructed motion due to the area and depth of the breach below the water surface. It had to find its way through doors, scuttles, &c., at a rate determined by the area and positions of these openings. Even when thus checked, the evidence clearly shows that a very large weight of water found its way into the interior, and passed for a considerable distance fore and aft in a very short time. A very great depression of the bow was observed within three or four minutes of the collision.
It is proved by the evidence that the watertight doors, hatches, &c., were in good order and perfectly efficient. The ship had been recently recommissioned at Malta, and had passed through the dockyard hands, all defects having been made good. The Chief Constructor of Malta Dockyard certified to this fact, and his evidence is confirmed by that of the officers of the Victoria. Moreover, the men who closed, or attempted to close, the doors, &c., with one single exception, made no statement suggestive of any fault in these fittings. The exception applies to it sliding door in bulkhead H. below the protective deck and just before the turret. This door could not be closed completely. No sufficient reason is given for the stoppage. Captain Bourke suggests that the shock of the collision may hare disturbed the fittings. This view is not concurred in. The bulkhead in question is of exceptional strength, being one of the principal supports of the athwart-ship armour at tne end of the belt. It is situated 35 ft. from the place where the blow was struck; and many doors much nearer to that place were shown by the evidence to be uninjured. Most probably there was some temporary obstruction to the closing, and the evidence of Rufus Ruff (Q. 1419-30) shows that he had no time to look carefully into the matter, as water was rushing into the compartment from forward.
It should be noted that the failure to close this door was not a matter of great importance under the circumstances ; because the compartment abaft, to which (according to the evidence) water could find access, only contained 75 tons and the effect of that small additional weight of water was trivial compared with that of over 1,000 tons in other flooded compartments. The true cause of failure to close the doors, hatches, &c., in the forward part of the ship is to be found in the very short time before the collision that orders were given to make the attempt. Captain Bourke states that under ordinary conditions of drill, with a trained crew, three minutes were required to close the doors, &c. It is also proved that the order to close doors was given about one minute only before the collision. The men were in their messes or on deck for the most part when this order was given. Using all possible exertions they could not reach the compartments forward, and especially those below the protective deck, in time to do much, if anything, before the collision had happened, and large quantities of water were entering. In the evidence this is conclusively proved by incidental statements made by the men. Abaft the turret the case was different; as water took some time to find its way into those compartments, the men could work without disturbance or danger, and the doors, &c., were closed and secured.
In the course of the enquiry many allusions were made to the possibility of partitions originally water-tight having ceased to be so in consequence of the great shock sustained by the structure. No doubt damage of the kind occurred in the immediate neighbourhood of the place where the blow was struck; and it is not possible to determine exactly the limits wherein such damage may have been sustained.
There is indirect evidence that the extent of serious disturbance by shock was not so great as some persons have supposed. For example, the anchor on the starboard side, only about 20 ft. before the breach, remained in place after the collision. Again, two witnesses testified that after the collision they were able to close and secure a door in the divisional bulkhead on the mess deck, only 10 or 12 ft. from the place where the blow was struck, and about 10 ft. from the ship's side. Experience in other cases of collision confirms the view that serious damage is likely to have been localized in close neighbourhood to the place where the blow was struck. This is quite consistent, moreover, with the tremor consequent on collision being felt at a considerable distance from that place.
The point has but little real importance, however, because, as above stated, it is established by evidence that doors, &c., were not closed both in partitions which it is reasonable to suppose might have been affected by the shock, and in others which were further off the seat of injury, and consequently not likely to be disturbed.
From the evidence it is possible to ascertain, in considerable detail, facts concerning the behaviour of the Victoria from the instant of collision up to the time she foundered. The impressions of various witnesses have been grouped in the Tabular Summary of Evidence annexed hereto. It will be seen, that, while there is agreement on important points amongst those who were well placed for observing the movements of the ship, other spectators, less favourably placed, give somewhat different accounts and estimates.
The most valuable evidence on these points is that of Staff-Commander Hawkins Smith and Flag-Lieutenant Lord Gillford, of the Victoria ; Captain Moore, of the Dreadnought; and Captain Noel, of the Nile. These officers are in substantial agreement, and their evidence is supported by that of other witnesses in most particulars. From these sources the following account has been framed:—
The Victoria and Camperdown remained looked together about one minute. During this short time the Victoria is thought to have heeled slightly to the starboard side, and settled a little by the bow.
When the Camperdown had gone astern and cleared, the Victoria continued to settle by the bow and to increase her heel to starboard. For 9 or 10 minutes these movements continued to proceed gradually and steadily. Then came a "lurch" to starboard which commenced suddenly; the ship fell over on her side, and turning bottom up, finally sank by the head at an angle of 20 or 30 deg. to the vertical. At the instant the lurch began, the Victoria was steaming slowly ahead with both screws, her helm being hard-a-starboard. The intention, was to make for the land.
For convenience it will be desirable to consider separately the two movements which proceeded simultaneously, viz., depression of the bow, and heel to the wounded (starboard) side.
It appears that about four minutes after the collision, the bow had dipped so much that water was coming through the hawse pipes on to the upper deck. That is to say, the bow had sunk about 10 ft. in four minutes. This change of trim continued, and about two minutes later the water had risen so much on the forecastle that men who had been working there were called away. Immediately before the larch took place the water was washing into the open turret ports, situated nearly at the middle line 100 ft. from the bow, and at a height of 14 ft. above the original water-line. Captain Moore states that the water was then half-way up the turret-wall; and Captain Noel saw the water 2 to 3 ft. deep against the sides of the turret. On investigation it is found that at this moment (accepting Captain Moore's careful observations) the upper deck right forward was 13 ft. under water, having been depressed about 23 ft. below its original position. The forward part of the upper deck was then almost entirely under water, from the bow to the bulkheads forming the forward termination of the upper deck battery. In other words, nearly half the length of the ship was submerged.
The after portion of the ship was lifted considerably above its normal position, and the upper blades of the port screw were showing above water to a large extent. The normal position of the tips of the blades was 11 ft. below water. This emergence of the screw was partly due to the heel, but chiefly to change of trim.
Lithographic reproductions of photographs obtained from a model of the ship are attached. These show her in the position which she had reached before the lurch began, according to the evidence of the officers above-mentioned.
Simultaneously with this extraordinary change of trim by the bow, the Victoria was heeling to starboard. All the witnesses on board that ship agree that the motion was gradual and steady until the lurch took place. Their conclusion is supported by witnesses from other ships, and by the fact that 9 or 10 minutes were occupied in reaching a heel of 18 or 20 deg. from the vertical. There is practical agreement that this was about the heel to starboard at the moment when the lurch took place.
Captain Moore, who was taking note of the Victoria at that time, confirms this estimate; and adds some most important information. He saw the water half-way up the turret wall and consequently it must have been flowing through the open ports into the turret, from which it could pass into the redoubt, surrounding the turret-base, and thence could find access to certain spaces below.
Further, he noted that the armour-door in the oblique bulkhead at the forward end of the upper deck battery was partly under water. It has been given in evidence that this door was never closed. Consequently water was at the same time passing into the battery and accumulating on the starboard side. Captain Moore remarked also that the two foremost 6 in. gun ports on the starboard broadside were then just awash. These ports, according to the evidence, were net closed, and therefore when they became "awash" large quantities of water could enter rapidly. In these circumstances it is obvious that a sudden increase of heel was inevitable; and the ship had sustained such a loss of stability from the submergence of her bow and the rise of her stern that she could not recover herself, and eventually capsized.
Captain Noel describes the motion of the Victoria at this time in some detail. He says she fell over to starboard slowly at first, but afterwards with increasing rapidity. He adds the important fact that as this movement took place, boats and other weights fell to leeward with a terrible crash. This "fetching away" of weights no doubt contributed to hasten the capsizing when the motion had begun. It is practically certain also that large quantities of water which entered the upper deck battery, through the open ports and armour door, must have passed below into the deck and hold spaces through open hatchways, doors, &c. thus flooding the ship and further accelerating her foundering.
The attempt made to steam towards the land with the helm hard-a-starboard tended to increase somewhat both the depression of the bow and the heel to starboard. It is true that only a low speed was reached, but with the forecastle buried deep under water, any headway tended to further "tip" and heel the vessel, and to accelerate the inflow of water through the turret ports and batteiy door. The transverse stability had been so seriously diminished by the submergence of the bow that inclining forces of small absolute amount, which would have been of no importance in the ordinary condition of the ship, produced an appreciable effect.
The hydraulic steering gear in the Victoria ceased to act very soon after the collision. Captain Bourke (Q. 67-69 and Par. 20 of Defence) attributes the circumstance directly to the inflow of water consequent on the collision. His opinion is concurred in. It is important to note that this steering gear had given no trouble previously; and that alternative hand-steering gear, placed far abaft the compartments flooded, was still available for controlling the ship. This hand-gear oonld be brought into operation very quickly when required, and was of ample power for moderate speeds. That it was not used was undoubtedly due to the short time the ship remained afloat.
Passing from the behaviour of the Victoria during the interval before she sank, to the consideration of the causes which produced the great change of trim and the heel to starboard observed, it is necessary to examine closely into the facts placed before the Court Martial respecting the compartments which were flooded. The evidence on these points is exhaustive, and has been classified in Section VII. of the Tabular Summary annexed.
Up to the time when the ships had turned 8 points—or about one minute before the collision—no orders were given to close the water-tight doors, &c., then open. It was " make and mend " afternoon, and the men were in their messes. After the orders were given every possible endeavour was made to close doors and scuttles ; but the time available was very short and the inrush of water was rapid. The Court Martial examined individually the officers and men who closed or attempted to close doors and scuttles. It is clear from the evidence that in some cases, doors, &c., which were attempted to be closed were not properly secured, or really made water-tight, the men having no time or being driven away by the inrush of water.
An important example of this occurs in the evidence relating to the door in the bulkhead K. at the forward end of the submerged torpedo room (see Plate VII.). Petty-officer Jacobs (Q. 1381-84) stated that he proceeded from the spar deck to this compartment and closed the door in question. It will be seen that the compartment before the bulkhead E; was breached, as the Camperdown swung while locked in Victoria: consequently it must have been in free communication with the sea. Jacobs confirmed this (Q. 1881) and admitted (Q. 1388) that he might not have completely secured the door. Another witness (Rufus Ruff, Q. 1423-25) proved that, whatever Jacobs may have attempted, water in considerable quantities was passing through the bulkhead at or near the place where the door was fitted, which Jacobs thought he had closed. This door was situated about 30 ft. from the breach made by the Camperdown's bow, and the nearest part of the bulkhead on the starboard side was about 10 ft. abaft the breach (Plate X.). It appeals highly probable, therefore, that neither the bulkhead nor the door could have been seriously damaged, so as to admit the quantities of water seen by Ruff (Q. 1424), and that Jacobs failed to close the door, although he made the attempt.
This has been described both as a typioal case of what must have happened in many instances under the circumstances, and because it is the only important point in which reason is seen to differ from the statement put in by Captain Bourke as to doors which were closed. Its importance arises from the fact that the flooding of the submerged torpedo-room involved the entry of fully 260 tons of water into that space, and its passage aft into spaces below the turret. Having regard to the evidence of Ruff, it is certain that the submerged torpedo-room was flooded.
On the basis of the facts set out in detail in Section VII. of the Tabular Summary of Evidence, diagrams have been prepared which graphically illustrate the extent to which the Victoria was flooded. The evidence of Captain Bourke has been generally followed: but on the unquestioned evidence above mentioned it has been accepted that the submerged torpedo-room was flooded. Further, the watertightness of the provision-room and of the compartment in hold between Stations 12 and 22, port side (Plate VIII.) has been taken as nut destroyed by the shock of the collision.
These diagrams show—
- (a) The compartments which would have been flooded as a necessary consequence of the collision, if all down, &c., in bulkheads and platforms had been closed prior to the collision.
- (b) The compartments subsequently flooded through doon, hatchways, &c., which remained open after the collision.
- (c) The compartments respecting which the evidence is doubtful, and into some of which water may have found its way because doors and hatches were not closed.
On these diagrams are also indicated the probable positions of the bow of the Camperdown as she struck, and after she swung towards the Victoria before clearing. In deciding on the compartments under group (a) care has been taken to include all spaces which could reasonably be supposed to have been injured by the collision in sue), a way aa to permit access of water to them. It has been explained above that the extent to which the shook may have carried injuries is not absolutely determinable: but that there are good evidences that the principal effects were comparatively local.
The other groups are based strictly on the evidence, with the correction as to the bulkhead E2 above described.
The facts represented graphically in Plates III. to IX. have been grouped in the following Tables. The flooded compartments have been enumerated and classified: and for each of them the "loss of buoyancy" consequent on flooding has been calculated in the Constructive Department of the Admiralty. These calculations are of the simplest character, dealing only with the unoccupied spaces in flooded compartments, and the positions of the centres of gravity of those spaces.
In the Minutes of Evidence (pages 132 to 133) it will be seen that the Court Martial had a somewhat similar statement presented to it by Mr. Newnham, Chief Constructor at Malta. That officer, however, had not the full evidence before him at the tim», and made certain assumptions aa to the compartments flooded which are not borne out by the evidence. For example, he assumed that on the platforms (Plate VII.), the water did not pass abaft the bulkhead E2, whereas it was proved to have reached I. bulkhead about 36 ft. further aft than E3. Under these circumstances Mr. Newnham's calculations do not represent the actual conditions, and need not further be considered. His estimates for the capacities of compartments are, on the whole, in fair agreement with those given in the following Tables:—
Compartments shown by the evidence to have been thrown open to the sea, either by direct damage or through open doors, hatches, &c.