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Campaign Operations April to June 1940
Attack on the 18th Cruiser Squadron on 9th
April 1940 and
Damage sustained by H.M.S. GLASGOW
COMMANDING OFFICER, H.M.S. GLASGOW
To: THE VICE
ADMIRAL COMMANDING, EIGHTEEN CRUISER SQUADRON
The following report is submitted,
departmental reports are being forwarded as enclosures.
2. Weather Conditions
blue sky with strong sun, cumulus cloud varying in density
NE force 5
3. Method of Attack
Between approximately 1430 and 1500, a number of
dive bombing attacks were made
by individual aircraft. At 1445, one such attack on
GLASGOW delivered from the starboard quarter resulted in
two very near misses
port side. Gunfire was impeded by
the fine angle of approach but the
aircraft was engaged by
close range weapons. Ship's
course 340 degrees speed 17 knots.
4. Two bombs of
250 500 lbs. Weight were released at a height of about
1500 feet while
still in the dive. It is
considered probable that they fell about 15 feet from the
ship's side, one
bursting on impact abreast 70 station and the other under
5. State of ship at 1445
Hands were at Action Stations, all men not
fighting the A.A. armament being off the upper deck.
All ratings between decks were distributed as far as
possible throughout the ship. The
upward trend of the splinters again being demonstrated the
value of men lying
flat on the deck away from the ship's side. Had this
not been enforced casualties would have been
hatches, and ventilation were in the action state.
7. Damage sustained
A large proportion of the bomb which burst on
the ship three feet above the lower deck level, holding an
approximately six feet by three feet; in addition further
penetration of the
ship's side was caused by scattered splinters of varying
size numbering about
sixty. A further effect of the
bomb was blast which blew in four dead lights, one of
which coming inboard was
responsible for the death of a rating.
Considerable quantities of water entered with movement of
the ship, and
the messdecks between 53 74
about one foot under water.
Certain subsidiary flooding occurred and minor underwater
for'd was experienced,
probably as a result of the
8. 'A' turret
was temporarily out of action (see Appendix III).
9. Details of
the damage are given in the Appendices.
10. Action Repairs
A good deal of smoke and debris impeded a rapid
of the area affected but at 1500 my Executive Officer was
able to report that
there was no considerable flooding and by 1515, it had
been ascertained that
the lower deck was intact and that there were only very
minor leaks below
it. Power had by this time been
restored to ŅAÓ turret.
11. Until a more
complete inspection of the structural damage could be made
and the holes
blocked to get flooding under control, a request was made
that speed should not
be increased except in case of emergency.
The obvious damage in frames and plates made it doubtful
at this time
whether high speed could be possible even when shored.
12. By 1540, a
complete inspection had been made and shoring was well
under way. My signal times 1547 reported that the
ship would be ready for service and high speeds in half an
hour's time. Shoring was completed and all
important holes blocked by 1700.
13. Work was
then started in building cofferdams of wood and cement
round important hatches
on the lower deck, such as lower steering position, to
preserve access to them
should the ship go further down by the bow due to further
damage or the
displacement of puddings. These
were completed by 2230.
evening, the ship was steamed at speeds up to 26 knots and
the following day 30
knots was maintained for a considerable period.
On the following day, 10th April, the
ordered to Scapa and plates were prepared on passage to
16. The ship
anchored at 1905, but subsequently nearly two hours' work
were lost due to an air raid.
midnight, the Base Engineer Officer and Mr. Mackenzie of
estimated that good temporary repairs could be effected
in forty eight hours. Twenty
two hours later, the ship proceeded to sea and
repairs which were done entirely by the ship's staff have
stood up to a week of
I regret to report the following casualties
William Sizer, Acting Leading
Signalman, P/JX 138361
Stoker 2nd Class, P/KX 97026
Walter Burrows, Ordinary Signalman, P/SSX 23322 (since
Milligan, Able Seaman, P/JX 132375
George Edwards, Able Seaman, P/JX 144393
Signalman, P/JX 145592
Cowper Pattie, Ordinary Signalman, P/SSX 25072
19. The wounded
were transferred to H.M. Hospital Ship AMARAPOORA on
Detailed recommendations are included in the
the following are most strongly urged:
(a). At least two
tons of rapid hardening
cement or alternatively one ton of Portland cement and one
ton of ciment fondu
should be carried in
(b). A supply of
tongued and grooved 9" by 3"
deals should be carried for building cofferdams.
(These could be made into mess tables to facilitate
(c). All water
tight hatches situated on the
lower deck which lead to important compartments below
should have higher coamings
where possible level to the deck head.
Welding set. It is strongly recommended that a
single point welding set should be carried.
splinters have been forwarded to the Admiral Commanding,
Orkneys and Shetlands,
in accordance with Orkneys and Shetlands General
Memorandum No. 249.
22. Copies of
Appendices II and III are being forwarded under separate
cover to the Director
of Electrical Engineering, the Director of Naval
Construction and the Captain,
H.M.S. VERNON in accordance with C.A.F.O.@s
3376/39 and 2833/39.
Damage Control Organisation
23. The damage
control organisation worked
smoothly, and the work of
the repair parties in bringing the ship back to full
efficiency so rapidly is
worth of high praise. The direct
credit for this, under my Executive Officer, must go to
Lieutenant (E) Horatio
Peter Bowen Evans, Royal Navy, Damage Control Officer, and
Mr. Albert Groves,
Warrant Shipwright, Royal Navy.
24. The behaviour
of all officers and ratings, both immediately
after the damage occurred and during the subsequent
exemplary, and morale was quite unaffected during the
25. The energy,
initiative and fine example shown by the following ratings
is worthy of special
E.R.A. 2nd Class John Edward Milne, P/M 24939
Stoker Percy John Bowen, P/K 66145
Shipwright 2nd Class Gilbert Henry Robinson,
Class Leslie Price, P/K 95358
26. The whole
of this creditable state of affairs is basically due to
the skilled organisation,
cool leadership, and personality of my
Executive Officer, Commander John Wilson Cuthbert, Royal
Navy, whole name I
should particularly like to bring to your notice.
Room Department Report
these appendices are not included
with my file)