- Blackwood, Henry, Captain, RN
- WWI operations
- RAN Ships
- None noted.
- September 1996 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
The Submarine by this time (11th round) had forged ahead to 700 yards. We saw her nose suddenly go up and her stem go down till she reached an angle of 45°. The water could be plainly seen running out of shot holes forward, and we could see under her keel for 15 or 20 ft. She then sank stem first at the same angle. (45°) 15 seconds after she had disappeared she came to the surface again, top of Conning Tower three feet out of water, with a heavy list to Starboard but nearly horizontal.
I regret the 4″ gun did not get another round off during this time owing to the pins holding up the limiting stops being shaken out by the firing and preventing training.
She hung in this position for a few seconds, 5 at the most, and then sank rather by the stem and still with a list.
I turned the ship as soon as I could and steamed for the place I had last seen her. The sea was covered in oil and scum but no wreckage. The Conning Tower hatch had never been opened which explains the absence of wreckage. I think she surfaced the last time to try to surrender and save the lives of the crew, but they could not open the Conning Tower hatch which must have been damaged by the explosion caused by the 4th shot from the 4″. I would submit that had she been in a condition to get away or even to remain submerged she would never have come to the surface again as she did.
The behaviour of the ship’s company was very good, and I have the honour to submit on attached list the names of officers and men who I consider worthy of mention.
The only delays were:
1. Pins shaken out of Limit stops of 4″ gun and prevented another round being fired when submarine came to surface a second time.
2. Delay caused by difficulty in hearing through Howitzer Voice pipes, owing to firing 4′ gun at the same time.
No. of rounds fired.
4″ gun: filled common shell – 16.
Howitzers – 8.
The majority of bombs from Howitzer burst short, two only being within 30 yards. One only burst prematurely on hitting the water.
I have the honour to be, Sir,
Your obedient Servant,
(Sd) Maurice Blackwood.
(Source: Captain Henry Blackwood, son of Commander Maurice Blackwood.)