Post by Dave Homewood on Feb 19, 2017 22:47:48 GMT 12
I was perusing Papers past just now and came across this snippet from the TARANAKI HERALD, dated 2 FEBRUARY 1915
The following letter in reference to H.M.S. Audacious, signed, ‘One Who Knows.” appeared in the Auckland Star last week: “Will you allow one who has quite recently seen some correspondence of a semi-official nature, and therefore is somewhat behind the scenes, to assure readers that the Audacious, although she undoubtedly struck a mine off the coast of Donegal, is not lost, but is with the High Sea Fleet. The Audacious was built with an inner plating invented by a New Zealander (a resident of Cambridge) and to this invention she probably owes her safety. The Admiralty know quite well what they are about, and it would he madness at the present time to publish to the world information as to her injury.”
As it happens the Audacious had in fact actually been sunk by the mine which it struck on the 27th of October 1914 so this inner skin made no difference. But I am curious to know who was the designer referred to? Did he work on all the King George V Class battleship designs? And am I right in thinking they mean Cambridge, Waikato?
It appears that the text was a part of the ruse deliberately designed to deceive (the true definition of Fake News) after the ship had been sunk. There's plenty of info out there about the sinking and the mine exploded underneath the ship where there was little or no armour protection, certainly no 'inner plating' that might have saved it.
I can't see anything relating to her differences in design, but the KGV's design was similar to the Orions that preceded them. Found this on the net:
"The armour scheme of the King George V class was basically that of the Orion, but with slight improvements. The relatively narrow beam of British capital ships (to maintain high speeds) restricted underwater protection, which was certainly deficient in comparison to their German counterparts. The torpedo (screen) bulkheads were still discontinuous over their length and rather too close to the outer hull, but did cover a greater length than those on the Orion class. The side armour belt was, as in the Orion class, carried up to the upper deck, thus protecting the ship a little better from long range plunging shell fire. The lower belt was of 12" thickness and the upper 8" of Krupp cemented armour. The transverse armoured bulkheads were of 10" Krupp non-cemented armour (KNC), whilst the torpedo bulkheads were a maximum of 3" KNC plate over the magazine and engine room areas, but down to 1" in other areas. This deficient underwater protection was to prove critical in the sinking of the Audacious."
Perhaps this Kiwi worked for the Director of Naval Construction within the Admiralty? I guess you could check the Admiralty files within the National Archive?