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Barham file photo [4557]


CountryUnited Kingdom
Ship ClassQueen Elizabeth-class Battleship
BuilderJohn Brown shipyards, Clydebank, Scotland, Britain
Laid Down24 Feb 1913
Launched31 Oct 1914
Commissioned19 Oct 1915
Sunk25 Nov 1941
Displacement29,150 tons standard; 33,000 tons full
Length643 feet
Beam104 feet
Draft33 feet
Machinery24 Babcock & Wilcox 3-drum boilers, 4 parsons geared turbines, 4 shafts
Speed25 knots
Range8,600nm at 12.5 knots
Armament4x2x15in, 14x6in, 2x12pdr, 4x21in torpedo tubes
Armor6–13in midships belt, 2.5-5in deck, 13in turret face, 11in conning tower sides


ww2dbaseDuring WW1, Barham, she collided with her sister ship Warspite in 1915. In 1916, she was Admiral Hugh Evan-Thomas's flagship of the Royal Navy 5th Battle Squadron temporarily attached to Admiral David Beatty's Battlecruiser Fleet at the battle of Jutland, where she received five hits and fired 337 shells. During the 1926 general strike, she was sent to the River Mersey to deliver food supplies. During WW2, she operated in the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. In Dec 1939, while at sea north of Britain, she was damaged by a German submarine torpedo. In Sep 1940, she participated in Operation Menace against the Vichy-French Navy at the port city of Dakar in Western Africa. Richelieu hit Barham with two secondary gun shells, while Barham hit Richelieu twice with her 15-inch primary guns; even though a blowback accident disabled Richelieu's number two turret, significantly reducing Vichy-French firepower, the Allies decided to depart from Dakar to avoid further damage to their fleet. Barham joined Force H at Gibraltar after the Dakar action, serving in the Mediterranean Sea. With Force H, she participated in several convoys to Malta and the Battle of Cape Matapan in Mar 1941. In May, she received bomb damage off Crete, Greece. On 25 Nov 1941, she was hit by three torpedoes from German submarine U-311 at the close range of 750 yards. Her magazine exploded, causing her to sink quickly with the loss of 861 men. Several hours after the sinking, the British Admiralty realized that German intelligence had not yet learned the sinking of the ship, and seized upon the opportunity to generate false intelligence. After the delay of several weeks, the family of those killed were notified with warning not to discuss the loss of the battleship with anyone; it was "most essential that information of the event which led to the loss of your husband's life should not find its way to the enemy until such time as it is announced officially", said one of the letters sent out to the widow of a lost Barham sailor. The Germans did not realize the loss of Barham until late Jan 1942. The Admiralty finally made the announcement of the loss on 27 Jan 1942.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Aug 2007

Battleship Barham Interactive Map


Barham at Scapa Flow, 1917, with other ships of the Grand FleetHMS Barham, HMS Malaya, and HMS Argus in exercise, circa late 1920s, photo 1 of 2
See all 6 photographs of Battleship Barham

Barham Operational Timeline

19 Oct 1915 Barham was commissioned into service.
21 Sep 1940 HMS Cumberland joined HMS Ark Royal, HM Battleships Resolution and Barham, HM Cruisers Devonshire, Australia and Fleet destroyers in support of Free French landing at Dakar and carried out defensive patrol offshore (Operation Menace).

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Graham kearnon says:
19 Nov 2017 06:48:47 PM

My grand dad served on that ship. He was removed just before sinking as he was to old. He had a few shipmates go down with ship. Would talk sometimes about mates.

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More on Barham
Event(s) Participated:
» Malta Campaign
» British Attacks on the French Fleet
» Battle of Matapan

Battleship Barham Photo Gallery
Barham at Scapa Flow, 1917, with other ships of the Grand FleetHMS Barham, HMS Malaya, and HMS Argus in exercise, circa late 1920s, photo 1 of 2
See all 6 photographs of Battleship Barham

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