British battleship HMS Barham explodes shortly after being struck by a close range German U-boat torpedo salvo (1941).
On 25 November 1941 at 4.25pm, while steaming to cover an attack on Italian convoys with the battleships Queen Elizabeth, Valiant and an escort of eight destroyers, Barham was hit by three torpedoes from the German submarine U-331, commanded by Lieutenant Hans-Dietrich von Tiesenhausen. Leading Telegraphist A.R. Bacon remained at his station following the first attack to alert accompanying ships of the presence of U-331, which greatly aided the search and rescue. The torpedoes were fired from a range of only 750 yards providing no time for evasive action, and struck so closely together as to throw up a single massive water column. As she rolled over to port, her magazines exploded and she quickly sank with the loss of more than two thirds of the crew. The explosion was caught on camera by Gaumont News cameraman John Turner, who was on the deck of the nearby Valiant. Out of a crew of approximately 1,184 officers and men, 841 were killed. The survivors were rescued by the other British ships.