Friday Fact: Victoria Sinks

In 1893, the HMS Victoria was the pride of the British Navy. With the biggest guns and the steam-powered speed she was really a sight to behold and, commanded by Vice-Admiral Sir George Tyron, she was one of the most dominating vessels to ever float the sea…

That is until 22nd June 1893. 

During a summer exercise in Tripoli, Lebanon, the bulk of British Mediterranean Fleet were due to take part in an impressive manoeuvre. The plan, created by Tyron himself, was for the fleet to sail out from Tripoli before turning as one unit to join up in a tighter formation for their return back to the harbour. It would have been a marvellous display of discipline by the ships of the Royal Navy. With the advent of the new wireless communication technology, the ships would be able to appear to move as one. The fleets of the rest of the world would truly tremble at the sight…

At least they would have done. 

Unfortunately for the crew of the Victoria, Tyron hadn’t taken in to account how fast or how large the turning circle of his battleship would actually be. In what was supposed to be an ordered turn, the Victoria ended up being struck by another battleship, the Camperdown. 358 lives were lost, including Tyron’s. 

But at least the sea world learnt from this mistake and never again did an English commander misjudge the speed and turning ability of his ship in a vain attempt to show off…

Oh wait!

Titanic, 1912

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