If you are faced with deciding if a battleship is either a QE or R class, look at the cutaway from the focsle deck for the secondary battery 6" guns.
In the image above the cutaway runs well forward of A turret, this is a feature of a QE, in the R class the cutaway is far smaller and amidships almost entirely below the bridge
On the 24th November 1941 three battleships Warspite valiant and Barham and their escorts sailed from Alexandria to cover an attack on an Italian convoy running from Italy to Benghazi in Libya, North Africa.
On the 25th the German submarine U331 commanded by Kapitanleutnant Freiherr Hans-Diedrich von Tiesenhausen sighted the force and although picked no less than 3 times on asdic U331 managed to get through the escort destroyer screen and fire four torpedoes from 1,200 yards at Barham.
Three of these hit Barham on her port side, this was far more than her elderly torpedo protection scheme could stand and in just 2.5 minutes she had gone.
Flooding was very rapid with a very large and list to port developing very quickly so any attempts at counter-flooding would not have had time to take effect.
One on her beam ends her magazines exploded in a huge explosion reipping the ship apart, 861 men died with her including her Captain, G.C. Cooke, 396 men survived including Vice Admiral Henry D. Pridham-Wippell.
The cause of the explosion will never be known but the severe damage caused by the torpedoes will have ruptured many oil tanks and one of these may have ignited inside the ship thus touching off her magazines.
The British did play a propaganda game, partially hiding the loss until the 27th January and did hide her name so as the keep the germans guessing.
As fortune would have it a newsreel film was being shot at the time by John Turner of Gaumont British News, he was on board the Valiant.
This is a very shocking film recording the deaths of those 861 men and in what I view as bad taste is used sometimes to advertise television programmes.
The film can be found on the Barham Associations website HERE
"This is a very shocking film recording the deaths of those 861 men and in what I view as bad taste is used sometimes to advertise television programmes."
My feelings as well Steve. Of course, we know that respect died out in this country some time back. Those who do this kind of thing are just about on a par with those despicable low-lifes who think that just because they can don a suit and breathing gear, they have the right to loot war graves.