HMS Thetis

Discussion in 'Submariners' started by Armybloke, Sep 20, 2006.

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  1. As you've probably guessed from my username, i've never served in Submarines, (nearly did, won't bore you with that..) I found an old book I read years ago about HMS Thetis. Curious to know whether you blokes who do it for real have an opinion on it. Do you think the Navy was more interested in keeping the boat in one piece rather than saving the poor sods inside? Appreciate it may not be a subject serving submariners would like to discuss but thought i'd ask anyway.
  2. It was a bank holiday and even in them days messages were slow to send NO BODY WAS INTERESTED til it was too late ???
  3. I seem to remember the Navy wouldn't use local civvy salvage firms who wanted to cut a hole in the stern and put in compressed air. They bodged an attempt to lift the stern instead. Didn't know it was a bank holiday; Nobody on duty then?
  4. If you consider that the Navy's priorities are:

    1. To float.
    2. To move.
    3. To fight.

    Then you could say that the Navy is more interested with the bods inside, because without them, well, you just can't carry out the Navy's priorities can you? :wink:
  5. True Dabs, but there was a quote to a telegrapher from a naval officer at the time when there was still hope for the crew - "Under no circumstances must the submarine be damaged". Remember it was a brand spanking new T class boat - state of the art and very expensive...
  6. Thetis was lost three months before the start of WW2 --the UK was panic stricken trying to re-arm the forces after years of neglect.

    At that time aswell--the set up for Submarines involved in accidents wasn't really efficient and also the Thetis was still under makers trials . She was over manned when she sank [fifty additional people onboard]

    The usual cluster fcuk.
  7. My Dad was in boats throughout WW2 and said he served in HMS/m Thresher and that it was the Thetis renamed. Anyone know if that is what was done?
  8. janner

    janner War Hero Book Reviewer

    Thetis was raised, refitted and renamed Thunderbolt, Thunderbolt was sunk by the Italians later in the War.

    Very interesting article here
  9. Thanks Janner.
    It was a long time ago my dad told me that story so I could have got it wrong though he was "in his cups" at the time, the only time he really spoke about his war service.
    Thanks again.
  10. Very interesting , My grandad served on HM/SM THUNDERBOLT .He told me that there was a tide mark on the bulkhead back aft somewhere and no matter how many times it was painted over the tide mark came back as soon as the paint dried . He went on serve in HM/SM URSULA and servived the war .
  11. As an aside, is it correct that in the RN the safety swing bolt on a torpedo tube rear door is known as a Thetis clip, after the loss of Thetis was put down to both bowcap and rear door being opened together?.
  12. As I believe that is correct when I started in the forends we always called it the thetis clip but at the end they tried to get us not to strange as we all learn by mistakes.
  13. The other improvement on the Torpedo Tube rear door was the test cock and reamer fitted.

    You didn't move anything till you proved the tube by opening the test cock and inserting the reamer to make sure the hole wasn't blocked.
  14. janner

    janner War Hero Book Reviewer

    I believe that the Thetis was fitted with test cock and reamer but they weren't properly used at the time. There was a small blob of enamel paint blocking the test hole, because of this no water showed when the cock was opened.
    RN were touchy about the Thetis clip, during training we were told that the safety clip was not called the Thetis clip.
    There have been a couple of books written about the tradgedy, both by the same author I believe, the second tries to reach conclusions re causes and apportion blame to some extent, I didn't feel wholly convinced by the arguments put forward in it
  15. It is called a Thetis clip. Its a bit like the child locks I have on my Kitchen Cupboard doors. Only alows the doors to be opened a few inches before it is taken off. Don't forget many Laird's men were lost in that boat as well possibly even the man responsible for the duff paint job. She was rather crowded. A true tradgedy for all, but the important issue is that many lessons were learned. As for Thunderbolt, I believe the story about the tide mark. Some things are beyond explanation. Sailors always believed it was unluky to change a name. Perhaps Thetis should have stuck, after all it is difficult to be sunk twice. But of course now the name lives on in all our Boats. In that little clip.

    (Watch the old film Morning Departure if you can't begin to imagine what it must have been like. Did it as a school play and was happy to be a Skimmer after that.)
  16. Boats tubes were fitted with the test cock and reamer before the Thetis disaster. The current name was applied after the hole was found to have been painted over and blamed for the sinking.

    Recently I have read a transcription of a court case in which two relatives of men lost on the boat tried to sue Pusser and Vickers for negligence and in particular alleged (a) the Torpedo Officer and his Forends L/S contibuted to the sinking by not using the reamer amongst other things and (b) Vicker were negligent by not inspecting the work of the sub contractors whose staff painted the insides of the tubes.

    The relatives lost the case and the following appeal.

    The transcript also revealed that the mechanical interlocks and indicators for the bow doors were not foolproof and that the operating personnel had to be knowledgable of the fact and trained in the operation and interpretation of the interlocks.

    I think my mate downloaded the document from the web but I've had a quick search and can't find it.

  17. Had a memory flash back re the above transcript. The test cock was situated halfway up the tubes Aft (inboard) door. Even if the reamer had been used to prove that the bore of the test cock was clear because of the cocks situation the tube could still be half full of oggin. There was no interlock connection (electical or mechanical) between the test cock and the Bow and Aft doors of the torpedo tube and therefore the cock could not indicate whether the Bow Door was open or shut.

    The boat was having trouble diving and at some stage the Torpedo Officer went to the Control room and asked if the Fwd. tubes were flooded. He was told that they were empty and took this as gospel and did not use the reamer before opening the Aft door. Some minutes prior to the Aft door being opened the mechanical indicators had been checked and showed the Bow door to be shut. After this lapse of a few minutes the TO and his L/S carried out the drill to open the door and the disaster commenced.

  18. Polaroid

    I think you have little kowledge of the rear doors on torpedo tubes. Yes the test cock and reamer were fitted to the Thetis and all boats since and for years before. That is not a Thetis Clip.

    What was fitted after this accident is a clip with a screw catch. This clip, on the opposite to the hinge allows the rear door to open about 1 to 2 inches. If water then pours in, a tommy bar put thru a ringbolt shaped bolt fitted to the screw allows you to tighten up the door against water pressure and then engaged the locking system to shut the rear door again. Hence the name "Thetis Clip"

  19. Your're bang on about the Thetis Clip Nutty but I dont think I mentioned it. I stuck to the test Cock and Reamer.


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